Culture

Three Huge Corpse Flowers Are Expected To Stink Up Washington, DC, This Week

It's the first time three of the rank plants will bloom at the same time -- and no-one knows why.

The United States Botanic Garden in Washington, DC, is this week getting prepped for an incredibly smelly natural phenomenon — the bloom of their corpse flowers.

Corpse flowers, otherwise known as the titan arum, are native to Southeast Asia and are named and famed for the rank and rotten smell they release while in bloom. These monster plants can grow up to 3m tall and take up to 10 years to bloom for the first time, with flowering unpredictable and infrequent thereafter. That means floral enthusiasts often travel from far and wide to witness it for themselves when it finally does happen.


The three plants at the Botanic Garden started between 60-90cm in height, but are growing rapidly as they approach the next stage of their development: opening. The flowers are growing unbelievably fast, with one plant sprouting an extra 46cm over four days earlier in the month.

The Botanic Garden claims that this is likely the first time three corpse flowers will bloom at the same time at one institution — and they have no real explanation as to why.

If you’re fortunate (?) enough to be in town for the once-in-a-lifetime botanic event, you can check out the incredibly smelly natural phenomenon at the United States Botanic Garden at 100 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC. And maybe practice breathing through your mouth before you arrive.

(Lead Image: Dave Pape / Flickr)